4 Ways to Meditate on the Psalms

4 Ways to Meditate on the Psalms

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (Ps. 37:7).

Ours is a restless, rushed society. Life seems to move ever faster each year. We struggle to fit as much in as we can, and many of us rarely pause for reflection. Perhaps the same is true of our spiritual lives.

We can so easily feel that our walk with the Lord is just one extra thing to squeeze into our crowded days and weeks.

Over the past year I’ve been more conscious of the need just to ‘be still’ before the Lord; to spend time meditating on a verse or two of Scripture, and to turn them back to him in prayer.

Here are four ways we can consciously slow down and meditate deeply on the Scriptures

Meditate to redirect our hearts to God

I have set the Lord always before me. (Ps 16:8)

God cannot be seen by any human eye, but with the eyes of faith, David sets the Lord before him. David binds and restrains his thoughts from running elsewhere and directs them to the Lord.

Often our circumstances are beyond our capacity to change. But David knows that we can choose what we set our gaze upon. Rather than let his heart be tossed and turned towards earthly temptations or human worries, David fixes his gaze on the Lord.

Place before your heart the lamb whose blood was shed for you.

Fill your thoughts with the one who was raised to life

Fix your eyes on the one who now lives to intercede for you.

What griefs we needlessly suffer because we don’t fill our hearts with this savior! Could we ever spend too much time in contemplation of this Lord?

Mingle meditation and prayer

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! (Ps 27:13)

Expect to see the Lord’s goodness today. Anticipate his grace and tender mercy. Look forward to experiencing his favor and smile upon you. Like David, our circumstances may be hard, but we should still expect to look upon the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13 provides words to set as the background music of our lives: ‘I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!’ These are words to turn into prayer: ‘Lord, open my eyes to see your goodness today.’ These are words to pray for our loved ones: ‘Lord, even in this time of trial, may they see your goodness and grace.’

Meditate in the presence of God

The eyes of the Lord are towards the righteous and his ears towards their cry. (Ps 34:15)

Previous generations of Christians spoke of living Coram Deo – a Latin phrase meaning ‘before the face of God’, or more simply ‘in the presence of God’. Seek to remember the Lord’s presence with us at all times. Try to be aware of him at each moment of the day.

We wake up. We do so in the presence of God, with his eyes upon us. Perhaps we have breakfast, with God’s eyes towards us. We have our first conversations of the day and begin our work or activity. We do these with the eyes of the Lord towards us, and his ears turned to us. When we break for lunch or rest, God does not cease his loving attention to us. In our moments of doubt, or selfishness, or sin, his eyes are still upon us, he still longs for us to commune with him again. When we lay our head to rest and close our eyes in sleep, his eyes never close, but he keeps his watchful care over his children.

Oh, what rich draughts of comfort we’d drink, if we only meditated more on the eyes and the ears of the Lord, turned ever towards us in love.

Meditate to press home precious truths

The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. (Ps 34:22)

Sometimes we can read the Bible as if the goal is more information. But there is great blessing in slowing down and applying deeply to our hearts.

Are you weighed down by sin?
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

Do you find it hard to let go of the past?
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

Do you hear Satan’s accusations against you?
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

Do you wonder whether God will accept you?
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

We’ve read the last page of God’s book. We know it ends well. And so we can keep going, keep praising. 

This extract is adapted from Matt Searles upcoming book, Be Still, available to order here.

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